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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  September 15, 2014 7:30pm-8:01pm EDT

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>> tradition, history, culture. discover the best memories of your lives. >> and now "bbc world news america." >> this is "bbc world news america" reporting from washington, i'm jane o'brien. waging the fight against islamic state as world leaders meet to settle on a strategy. we're on the front lines of the fight. down to the wire in scotland, with just three days to go until the referendum on independence. both sides are busy macking their case. and it's the spacecraft hoping
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to make history, but first, has to land on a comfort traveling 34,000 miles an hour. no easy task. >> welcome to our viewers on public television in america and also around the globe. foreign ministers from more than 30 countries have been meeting in paris to discuss building an international coalition against islamic state militants. the french president summed it it up this way -- i.s. represents a global threat which requires a global response. and adding greater urgency, of course, was the release of a video over the weekend showing the killing of british aide worker david haynes. so what is it like on the front ine of this fight?
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>> it is on these fighters that the statesmen in paris are pinning many of their hopes. this is one of the front lines. that's town in the distance is held by islamic state. it was specifically britain's support for kurdish forces that the black masked murderer of david haines cited as juffs for his killing. the u.k. is flying weapons and ammunition into northern iraq to elp bolster the kurds. >> the weapons we have are good but it's not enough against a terrorist state. we need more to win our war against i.s. >> the kurds have made modest advances near the jihadist heres at jalal, less than 100 miles from baghdad. but many of their weapons are old and stocks depleted. they say they have yet to
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receive any of the guns or ammunition supplied by britain. this is about as far east as i.s. goes. we're almost on the border with iran but the jihadist state now stretches west across iraq, into syria and out to the turkish border. and each time another western hostage is brustely beheaded on camera, so the pressure grows in western capitals to do more. e drove towards a second position. in paris leaders from 30 countries, including arab governments, were pledging support for coordinated campaign gainst i.s. in iraq. though concrete details were in short supply. in 1991 british, french and american air support helped peshmurger defeat saddam hussein's army in northern iraq. now they say they're ready to take on eslambic state but they need the right help.
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>> the rocket-propelled grenade is held together with tape. we are fighting the islamic state with just this weapons. we have not received any new weapons from anymore. >> there's preparations for a large ground scale offensive but if there were, that would be of little comfort to the second british hostage whose life is now in danger. or the many others being held by islamic state inside syria. i.s. is waiting, just over a mile from here. its fighters can come charging back up this road at any moment. neither the syrian government nor inspect principal backer iran was invited to join the coalition of the willing in paris today. in the absence of a unified strategy across iraq and syria, it's far from clear whether more bombing will have the desired result. >> leaders attempting to build an international coalition
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against islamic state militants have said it won't include iran or syria. a short time ago i asked the bbc's middle east editor jeremy bowen, who's in damascus, if that was realistic. >> not according to the syrian government. they say that any attempt on i.s. that does not include the syrian government and their iranian allies and russian backers, for that matter, is not going to work. actually at the moment the syrian government and iran-backed shiit militias in iraq are both fighting islamic state and they are engaging them i think in places quite fiercely, especially in iraq. you know the thing about all of this, the paris conference was something that was designed to bring more legitimacy to this process, what the americans do not want is for it to look as if once again they're about to start bombing a lot of arabs, a lot of muslims. but i think that the other countries involved in this
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particularly the regional countries, will be hesitant about moving forward along a track towards taking military action because of the really complex politics of the conflict that has been going on here in syria for three years and the war that has been going on pretty continuously off and on in iraq now for many years. and so i think that as a result of that they've done the easy bit now. getting the people together was the easy bit. changing all of that and turning that into concrete action is what is going to be difficult. unless, of course, the americans and western allies want to go it alone. >> jeremy bowen there in damascus. for more on the coalition being formed, i was joined a short time ago from capitol hill by democratic senator bob casey, who's a member of the national security working group. senator, thank you very much for joining me. >> good to be with you. thank you. >> we have heard these 30 countries gathering to form late
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a plan. nobody is mentioning syria. nobody is mentioning iran. is that realistic? >> well, i think this coalition has to be a coalition that can work together and function in a manner that would lead to a coordinated effort, not only on the military aspects of this kind of campaign but on other matters as well. think it makes a lot of sense to limit this to those countries that can ensure there's a substantial buy-in or ratification of this strategy by sunni muslim nations and nations within the region. in addition to the help we're getting from european countries as well as our own. so what you don't want it to do is put something in the mix like having iran involved that would substantially degrade the likelihood or reduce the likelihood that you're going to have that kind of coordination. >> but when you talk about a
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substantial buy-in, just how substantial is it, because ultimately, we don't know the details. we don't know who's prepared to actually act in this coalition. are you concerned this inevitably will become america's war? >> no, don't have the concern yet about that happening because , first and foremost, i think there's been good progress made in putting together the coalition. but i believe it's going to take weeks, if not months, to really assess whether or not the coalition can come together and work together. but don't think we can make that assessment today or next week or two weeks from now. but over the next couple months we will have i better sense of not just the cord of working with the coalition but also the results they're achieving. >> we're being told the threat from the islamic state is urgeant. do you really have that much time? >> well, there's time to make sure that you have that
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coalition pulled together. but there's not a lot of time in terms of taking action. that's why the president i think is very prudent after he had intel making a determination that air strikes were necessary. now he had 150 air strikes for more than that that would yield some results at a couple of air strikes with a fighting force on the ground. that being the kurdish forces and iraqi security forces. having the same level of initial success in syria would be very challenging. in fact more challenging than it's been in iraq. but i think there are things that can be done, steps that can be taken prior to a full engagement by a coalition. but this -- there's no playbook here. there's no specific set of steps. >> no, no. one of the steps, of course, the president is taking is arming the moderate rebels in syria. he's seeking funding from congress for that. you have been calling for this
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for a long time. is this too little too late? >> i don't think so. i'm glad that the president and others have come to the position i had before. but i think there's plenty of time. the good news here is that there's been a substantial amount of vetting over the last number of months or even the last year. number one. number two is the opposition for a variety of reasons has been able to hang on in syria and i think getting that train and equip vote done here in the congress will help substantially. it will send a very powerful message that we're going to be working with them, even if it's a very small force that is trained in the long run and ready to do real fighting on the ground. but this is going to be a long process. just like other elements of the tragedy as well. i think one of the most important parts of the collision is come together to shut down the money, the financing. >> that i think is a subject for another day, senator bob casey, live on capitol hill. thank you very much indeed for
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joining me. >> thanks very much. >> now, it's down to the wire in scotland, where there are just three days to go before a referendum on independence. both the yes and no campaigns have been busy trying to persuade undecided voters. bbc's james cook reports. warning, there's flash photography. >> will scotland prosper? for business leaders and their can universitys, that simple question -- and their customers, that simple question is at the heart of this campaign. it took 35 years to build up this wholesale business in glasgow but the boss said times have been toughs recently independents had all of the boom. >> independents will be much, much better off. we have a lot of natural resources and more national resources than anywhere in the europe and scotland. and i think we would be much better off as a country and we want -- i want to leave a legacy behind for the next generations to come so they will live and prosper in a better scotland. >> earlier today, other business
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leaders joined alex salmond at the airport. the message -- not all are worried about the prospect of a yes vote. >> what we're demonstrating today with some of the most serious business people in scotland, men and women who are job creators, creating tens of thousands of jobs but there's very substantial groups and scottish business who say there's opportunity from an independent scotland. >> with the world watching. the battle for business is now in full swing as both sides try to persuade voters that their vision for the economy is the strongest. and this evening the prime minister arrived in aberdeen, warning independents would mean the end of british pensions, passports and pound. and making a plea directly to scotland's voters about the consequences of voting less. >> it would be the end of a country that launched the entitlement, that abolished slavery and drove the industrial revolution and defeated fashionism. the end of a country that people around the world respect and
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admire. the end of a country that all of us call home. are d when the shipyards where the british empire was launched, many are worried. it has been sustained by royal navy orders and these scotts fear for their job. >> we have an understanding what will happen, we will revitalize ship building in the city. in the wake of a yes vote, that is completely thrown into the air. >> i would be best to not know what the future would be for the scottish at all. >> very soon now, all will be calm. the bustle will be over and the people of scotland will quietly make their choice. james cook, bbc news, glasgow. >> now to saudi arabia, where health officials say they're doing all they can to avoid an outbreak of the deadly middle memories virus.
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it's a mystery virus of no known cure and have been over 300 deaths since it was first deekted in 2012. our global health correspondent has this report. >> is this the key source of the deadly mers virus? camels, a prime suspect for passing the disease to humans, which is why health officials are taking samples from these rized animals. there's believed to be a strong link between camels and the virus but still very little is known how it jumps from animals to human and that is worried scientists. the virus is fairly harmless in animals but in humans can cause pneumonia and kidney failure, killing more than a third of hose infected. but the real problem began when patients ended up here.
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poor infection control measures in hospitals like this one, where i was shown around, meant when a mers patient arrived, the virus spread fast. doctors admit staff were not washing hands between patients or wearing masks properly, which means they were helping pass it on. it wasn't until a year and a half into the outbreak when the king sacked his health minister over his handling of the crisis that things started to change. now hundreds of hospital staff are trained in infection control and the number of mers patients have fallen dramatically from hundreds back in the spring to very sporadic cases now. >> deep breathing for one minute. >> but still, relatively little is known about mers. the government has advised people to wear protective gear when handling camels, especially
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if they're sick. but at this market on the outskirts of jeddah, we didn't see anyone taking much notice. raw camel milk, which could contain the virus, was being sold and drunk freely. >> i don't know about this virus. if it comes here. i have drank camel milk every day the last 15 years and i'm fine. >> at these high biosecurity labs, scientists are trying to figure out where the virus came from, particularly on the run-up to hajj, when around 2 million people will descend on mecca. >> being a virus that is transmittable from human to human really is a big concern for hajj. you know we have overcrowding in hajj and this is an excellent medium for the infection to spread. >> but the government is reassuring pilgrims. >> mers is not any more an issue
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in saudi. we will do our best to ensure that we continue doing all that we can do to have a safe hajj to all of our guests and pilgrims. >> the outbreak may be under control for now. but the world health organization said the situation continues to be a public health concern. bbc news, jeddah. >> you're watching "bbc world news america." still to come on tonight's program -- russia's newest tv star is already known far and wide. but it's not for his acting skills. instead he's the chief suspect in a high-profile murder. monsoon rains from earlier this month have triggered devastating flooding across india and pakistan. rescue efforts across both countries have been ramped up to help locate displaced citizens. search teams in pakistan's provinces are now looking after
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survivors after a boat capsized. the incident killed at least 70 members of a wedding party, including the groom. the bb cress has the details from islamabad. >> this was supposed to be a time of joy. but instead of celebrating a wedding, this family prepared for a funeral. michelle was married only three days ago, the wedding still on her hands. she, her 27-year-old groom and some guests were on board a boat for a reception in the central city of multen. but the both capsized and the groom drowned along with 16 others. officials said the crowded boat was crossing the swollen river in central pun jab, one of the worst flood-hit areas in pakistan. the bride said she survived by grabbing an electricity pole. >> my parents told my in-laws to wait until the floodwaters had gone down. don't go, they said.
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but my husband's family said, everyone is going on the boats. let's go. that's why we left. >> the bodies of the victims, including that of the groom, were taken to a multen hospital ahead of their burial. the family had been warned about the dangerously high waters but officials said they went ahead nyway. they were at the height over the weekend with the pakistani dropping much relief supplies. more than 300 people died so far and with the water 0 now moving to the southern province, authorities are watching to see if they will have another crisis n their hands. >> two suspects in the 2006 murder of a former russian agent in london is poised to make his
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television debut in russia. andre lugavoy will present a documentary series called "traders" will he will profile vocal criltics of the kremlin. steve rosenberg reports. >> to british police he's the prime suspect in the killing of ormer russian agents alexander yenko but back home in russia, he's set to become a tv star. from today, andre lugavoy has his own series. it's called "traitors," all about soviet citizens who betrayed the motherland for the west. he denies murder and moscow refused to extradite him to the u.k. >> it's always a difficult subject, not just for russia but for britain and america too. we know that you have your own traitors that worked for ussr or
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russia. as long as there's confrontation between us, there will always be traitors. >> russia's president seems to think so. last month live on tv vladimir putin announced that there were people in russia prepared to betray their country's national interests. the kremlin was also warned of a fifth column threatening russian from the inside. state-controlled media had been employing the phrase national traitors. but why? with russia under increasing pressure from sanctions and increasing the isolated from the west, the temptations to the authorities here is to look for traitors and turncoats and columnists of the in other words, to seek out the enemy within. to deflect criticism at home. >> history teacher tamara eagleman has been a vocal critic of russia's intervention in ukraine but she was astonished to find herself portrayed on
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national tv recently as a traitor, along with several pop stars and politicians. >> it's much easier to rule when you have enemies and everybody can unite against this enemy and you can always explain that prices are rising and shops are getting emptier and so many terrible things happen because of this enemy. >> tamara concedes that putin's russia is not stalin's russia, where enemies of the people were sent to the dual ack. dulac. but criticism here is still equated with treachery and russia is still searching for scapegoats. steve rosenberg, bbc news, moscow. >> now to a mission a decade in the making. the rosetta spacecraft was launched with a mission to explore a comment 250 miles from north.
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in two months it could make history by landing on the comet. our science editor has all of the details. >> a strange barren world seen in greater detail than ever before. it's hard to imagine comets might have helped life start here on earth. but we're now closer to seeing f that's true. the european space agency mapped its comment and picked a site to land. marked here as j, another site as backup. no one knows if this is going to be possible. the extraordinary feat of touching down on a comet first dreamt up 20 years ago is now within sight. this mission is at a critical phase. not only flying alongside the comet but planning to send a lander on it as well, incredible challenge. let's look at the biggest danger, surface. it's totally unknown. some parts are extremely rough. others are smooth. but may turn out to be soft like quick sand. the plan is for the rosetta spacecraft, which is orbiting the comet, to release a lander
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rowboat known as feli. the hope is this will zeend and touch down in just the right area but this really is a gamble. to survive the tony craft will need to get just enough sunlight to charge up its solar panels but too much sun, and it will overheat. if all goes well scientists will get the first chance to work out what comets are really made of, whether they really did bring the building blocks for life here to earth. >> it should be landing about here. >> the lapding site is thought to be the safest there is but it's still fraught with risk. scientists say after a 10-year journey, there's now a rush to get ready. >> we have only seen up close the last two weeks images of where we're going throoned and had to make all of the calculations so quickly. so this is absolutely the most difficult thing that space scientists have ever tried to do. >> this animation of the lapding makes it look easy.
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it's nonet happen in november. if it works, we will get the first pictures of the surface from one of the strangest objects in the solar system and maybe learn something about our own origins as well. >> than brings today's broadcast to a close but you can find much more on our website. for awful us here at "world news america," thank you for watching and please tune in tomorrow. >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation, newman's own foundation, giving all profits to charity and pursuing the common good for over 30 years, kovler foundation. beijing tourism, and union bank.
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>> tradition, history, culture. discover the best memories of your lives. >> bbc world news was presented byby
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announcer: previously on "the roosevelts," a sickly child roused himself into a life of action. man: don't fritter away your time. take a place wherever you are and be somebody. announcer: young franklin and eleanor struggled to fit in. wh he got to groton and when he got to harvard, people didn't like him. announcer: and an assassin's bullet brought a roosevelt into the white house. man: he was a new species, a new kind of man in a new century. announcer: and now part 2 of "the roosevelts: an intimate history." announcer: funding for this program was provided by members of the better angels society, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating americans about their history through documentary film. members include... additional funding was provided by the arthur vining davis foundations, dedicated to strengthening america's future


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